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Climbing is going up, or, depending on context, also down. It may refer to aircraft, a land vehicle, and humans and animals. On land, in particular it refers to steep climbs, e.g. on a hill, mountain or stairs, in a pole or tree, etc.

Climbing without a vehicle is often done as a sport or recreation. Often the emphasis is on balance and agility over brute force. Climbing can take place outdoors on real rock faces, or indoors on synthetically constructed climbing walls.

Shorter climbs can often be done with anchors and rope that are placed at the top of the climb before the climbers ascend. This type of climbing is called "top-rope" climbing. Longer climbs are normally done placing safety anchors during the ascent. This method is called "lead" climbing.

To make lead climbing safe, climbers will often climb in pairs. The leader will climb first climbing up and placing protection as they go. When the leader has finished the route the other climber in the pair, the second, will climb and will remove the protection that the leader placed.

Nearly all climbers follow the known climbing routes that are described in guidebookss. The most experienced and adventurous will attempt to establish new routes and make the first ascents of them.

Table of contents
1 Categories by type of terrain
2 Categories by use of protection to ascend
3 Styles of climbing by level or type of protection
4 Competitions
5 Grading
6 See also

Categories by type of terrain

Categories by use of protection to ascend

Styles of climbing by level or type of protection


Competitions are usually held indoors on purpose built climbing walls. There are two main categories. As an additional handicap, a climber may have to climb a route
on sight. This means he is not allowed to see other climbers try to climb the route, and has only a limited amount of time to visually inspect the climb from ground level.


There are different ranking systems for competitive climbers.

Climbers grade the difficulty of the routes they climb. The grading system used varies from country to country (and region) and according to the style of climb. See also grade (bouldering).

See also